Thursday, 6 September 2007

Melbourne University Student Union Elections 2007

At Uni today the student politicians were out trying to get students to vote for a particular party. One left-wing guy came up to me near the library and told me not to vote for the right-wing party because they were pro-war and were racists. I told him whether he thought that the left-right political spectrum was too simplistic. He said no it wasn't. If you're pro-war and racist then you're right wing, he said. But then I asked him, "What if you're a racist who is anti-war? Would you be described as left-wing or right-wing?" He thought I was being silly and so just walked away.

Some right-wing guy came up to me and told me to vote because his party was an "apolitical party." I asked him how in the world a student political party can be apolitical. By definition a student political party is political since it is involved in student politics. To label his party an apolitical party is like saying that you can have a non-spherical sphere. He corrected himself and said, "We don't care about things like the Iraq war and racism." I was disturbed about the fact that he didn't care about racism. What if a gang of Nazi thugs start raping Jewish girls on campus? The guy claimed that his party will focus on giving students rebates on textbooks. The whole project smells of voter bribery. It is surprising to see a right-wing party giving subsidies. I fear that if the plan to give textbook subsidies goes ahead and textbook prices go down by 25 per cent then quite simply people will buy the cheaper textbooks in the bookshop and then sell it on Ebay, Amazon, or elsewhere for a higher price. They will pocket the difference in price. All this arbitrage will create a shortage of textbooks in the university and students will be forced to look outside the university for textbooks. The price will be the same but now students don't have the convenience of buying from the University's bookshop. This sort of centralized control in the university will generate shortages in the same way that Communist Russia created shortages of food. Yet the people who are establishing this policy are right-wing people who slur against their opposing parties by calling them Communists! Simply stupid.

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